One of college basketball's elite coaches, Mike Montgomery has led California to its winningest stretch in more than 50 years in his first five seasons at the helm of the Golden Bears.
Under Montgomery's leadership, Cal is the only the team to have finished in the top four of the Pac-12 Conference standings OR win at least 10 league games in each of the last five seasons. The Bears have earned a postseason berth all five seasons, including three NCAA Tournament appearances in the last four years, under Montgomery.
Montgomery enters the 2013-14 season as the NCAA's ninth winningest active Division I head men's basketball coach with 656 career victories in 31 seasons of collegiate coaching. Montgomery owns 272 career Pac-12 victories and is just four wins shy of tying Oregon State's Slats Gill as the third-winningest coach in conference history after passing Washington's Hec Edmundson in 2013.
The coaching icon owns a 657-302 (.685) record at the college level. He was 393-167 (.702) over 18 years at Stanford from 1987-2004 and 154-77 (.667) during the previous eight seasons at Montana. In five years at Cal, Montgomery is 109-59 (.649). Overall, 30 of his 31 teams have posted winning records.
Three Golden Bears have been voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year in the past four seasons after junior Allen Crabbe captured the honor in 2013. He joined 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Jorge Gutierrez, Crabbe, the 2011 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle as major award winners in Montgomery's first five seasons in Berkeley. Cal has had multiple representatives on the all-conference squad in each of Montgomery's five seasons, including Crabbe and fellow junior Justin Cobbs in 2013.
Under Montgomery, Crabbe continued to develop his game, becoming one the nation's premier players at his position. Crabbe captured the Pac-12 regular-season scoring title and was named a Third Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and The Sporting News in 2013. He was selected with the 31st overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.
The Bears captured their first conference championship in 50 years in 2010 and placed second in the league each of the past two seasons.
After being rewarded with a contract extension by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour prior to the 2012-13 season, Montgomery guided Cal to a 21-win campaign, a second-place conference finish, and the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The 12-seeded Bears defeated fifth-seeded UNLV in the second round of the NCAA's, falling to fourth-seeded and eventual Final Four participant Syracuse in the third round in San Jose.
A four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and recipient of a John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award, Montgomery brought a proven record of success to Berkeley following successful tenures coaching at Stanford and Montana, and a stint as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. He has totaled 23 postseason appearances, claimed five conference championships and reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Montgomery became the seventh active NCAA head coach to reach 600 Division I wins during the 2010-11 season.
"Throughout his years as a head coach, Coach Montgomery has established that he understands what it takes to develop a basketball program that will compete consistently with the nation's top teams," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "He has demonstrated a clear commitment to the development of student-athletes both academically and socially. He has an impeccable reputation in the industry and is recognized as a leader in the men's basketball community."
In his first season coaching the Bears in 2008-09, Montgomery took a team that was predicted to come in eighth in the Pac-10 pre-season media poll and guided Cal to a third-place finish in the conference. Montgomery also helped Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher earn All-Pac-10 first-team honors in 2009 and 2010. Under Montgomery's guidance, Randle won Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 2010.
Montgomery took a relatively new team that was picked to finish in the lower half of the Pac-10 in 2010-11 and led the Bears to a tie for fourth place in the conference and first-round victory over Mississippi in the National Invitational Tournament.
Guided by Gutierrez and fellow senior all-conference standout Harper Kamp, Cal collected 24 victories and finished second in the conference in 2011-12.
During his tenure at Stanford, Montgomery led the Cardinal to 12 NCAA Tournament bids - including the 1998 Final Four - four NIT selections, four regular-season Pac-10 titles and the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament crown. His players earned first-team All-Pac-10 laurels 27 times and first or second team Pac-10 All-Academic notice on 25 occasions, more than double that of any other school during his years with the Cardinal.
Following the 2003-04 season, Montgomery left Stanford to become the head coach of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, where he compiled a 68-96 record in two seasons. He then served as an assistant to the athletic director at Stanford and worked as a television commentator for two years before accepting the offer to coach at Cal. During Montgomery's career at Stanford, the Cardinal registered at least 30 wins three times, including a school-record 31 victories in 2000-01. The 1997-98 and 2003-04 teams both finished with 30 wins. Stanford reached the 20-win mark on 13 occasions under his guidance, including each of his last 10 seasons.
Those 20-victory years corresponded with an NCAA Tournament invitation each time, highlighted by a trip to the 1998 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. The third-seeded Cardinal finished the season with a 30-5 record after losing to second-seeded Kentucky, 86-85, in the NCAA semifinals. While coaching on The Farm, Montgomery garnered an assortment of honors, including the prestigious John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The Long Beach, Calif., native was tabbed the Sports Illustrated National Coach of the Year in 2000 and the Naismith and Basketball Times Coach of the Year in `04. In addition, he has been honored as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004.
Montgomery received the John R. Wooden "Legends of Coaching" Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, following Dean Smith of North Carolina (1999), Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (2000), Lute Olson of Arizona (2001), Denny Crum of Louisville (2002) and Roy Williams then of Kansas (2003). The award recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal accolades. When selecting the individual, the Wooden Award Committee considers character, coaching philosophy, graduation rate of student-athletes, success on the court and identification with the goals of the Wooden Award. Three student-athletes under Montgomery's tutelage have been named Wooden All-Americans (Todd Lichti in 1989, Mark Madsen in 2000 and Casey Jacobsen in 2001).
While Stanford advanced to the 1998 NCAA Final Four, its 2000-01 team is also recognized as one of the best in Cardinal history. Montgomery guided the Cardinal to a 31-3 record, a third straight Pac-10 title and a spot in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. During the year, Stanford set or tied 13 Pac-10 and school records, including team marks for wins (31) and scoring average (83.2). The Cardinal led the nation in field goal percentage (51.1%) and ranked in the top eight in the country in six statistical categories.
Montgomery's teams have also been noted for their defense, with five of his final eight Stanford squads leading the Pac-10 in fewest points allowed, including the 1999-2000 team that surrendered just 59.7 ppg.
Inheriting a Stanford program that had not advanced to the NCAA Tournament since winning the national title in 1942, Montgomery quickly had the Cardinal on the winning track. In his second year on The Farm, he piloted his charges to a 21-12 mark and an NIT invitation, becoming the first Stanford men's basketball team in 46 years to reach postseason play. A year later, the Cardinal earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 26-7 record.
Montgomery's expertise helped eight Stanford players move on to NBA careers as first-round draft choices: Curtis Borchardt, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Adam Keefe, Brevin Knight, Lichti, Madsen and Jacobsen.
Before helping Stanford's ascend to the national stage, Montgomery oversaw the Montana program for eight years (1978-86). His teams averaged 19 wins per year, never had a losing season and earned two NIT selections. Montgomery guided the Grizzlies to five runner-up finishes in the Big Sky Conference and won at least 20 games each of his last four seasons.
Prior to accepting the head position at Montana, Montgomery served as an assistant coach there for two years. While he was with the Grizzlies, the university had four players drafted by the NBA: John Schroeder, Derrick Pope, Marc Glass and Larry Krystkowiak.
In addition, Montgomery has been an assistant coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Colorado State, the Citadel, Florida and Boise State.
Montgomery's proven track record caught the attention of USA Basketball, and he has been a member of national team staffs on several occasions. He served as an assistant coach for the United States at the 2002 World Basketball Championships, and in 1996, he was named head coach of the USA Men's 22-and-Under Select team. That year, Montgomery was chosen the USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year and the USOC Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year. The 15th men's basketball head coach in Cal history, Montgomery earned his bachelor's of arts in physical education at Long Beach State in 1968. He received a master's degree in physical education from Colorado State in 1976. In 2002, Montgomery was named to the Long Beach State Hall of Fame.
Montgomery and his wife, Sarah, have two grown children, John and Anne.